What Once Was…Ain’t No More…
The above title has been designed intentionally to annoy the English teachers of the world – and come to think of it, everyone else who insists that it is nothing less than a sin against Mankind to use anything less than “proper, acceptable” English – ever. Having said that and subsequently feeling much better about life in general (it never takes much to perk me up…), I’d also like to express my sincere appreciation to all you folks who have somehow managed to keep our English (or American, if you will) language from completely deteriorating into one giant heap of linguistic compost. Of course, that will never prevent me from tossing rotting potato peelings on the pile from time to time.
Where were we? Oh, yes – what once was… Rather than beat around the bush and try to lead into this in a semi-logical manner, I’ll get right to the point. The past is gone – vanished, disappeared in a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi, Ho Silver!” It is history, not real, mental vapor, and gone, gone, gone!
“Yabutt” nothing. The past is gone! OK, I do understand that a bunch of stuff has happened before now to influence what “now” is. And sometimes it’s good to take a look at the past to see just how the heck we got to our “now”. With a little luck, the record of the past will not have been so over-skewed by our individual and collective perceptions that we will be limited in our ability to make current rational decisions.
Well, so much for luck! We do change the past, don’t we? We remember what we think we remember, then we shade it slightly with our current situation or viewpoint of life and the events surrounding us (is this a reprogramming thing?) – and remember the past as we think it should be remembered. The really good things that have happened just keep getting better and better. Unfortunately, the bad things have a tendency to get worse and worse.
Since I’m into “positives” - even exaggerated ones - I’m going to give myself permission to remember the good stuff in any absolutely wonderful way I want. Shucks, I may even extrapolate a bit and push some of these fantastic memories right into Fantasyland – for just a few minutes, that is. Then I’ll come back to reality…maybe…
As far as the bad stuff is concerned – well, I think I’ll handle those a bit differently. Let’s see now…bad stuff…hmmm, I can’t remember anything particularly bad. Oh wait, there was that time I…no, that wasn’t all that bad… Ok, how about the time…no, that wasn’t actually bad…
What I do remember though, are a bunch of times that were darned uncomfortable! Times that I used poor information and/or logic to reach a decision – or times that I had to do things that I really didn’t want to do (commonly because I had done something goofy previously to put me in an uncomfortable situation). Or times that I might have acted too impulsively – or even the times that something happened that was out of my control (a stuff happens thing). Nah, I can’t remember all the details of this stuff. I just have a general recollection of the events – and of some of the things I did to rectify the situation or changes I made in the way I was thinking and conducting my life.
Get the idea? Of course you do. Too many of us have a tendency to live in the past. We remember events and situations as “bad”. Our minds automatically fill in the missing details with exaggerated “facts”. We relive those bad moments complete with every associated emotion we can conjure up. We are sad, depressed and sometimes flat miserable. We resort to medications (and other readily available related alternatives) to relieve the pain. Life just sucks!
The past is not real, folks! It is gone! The only way it becomes “real” is by allowing our minds to push it into the forefront of our thoughts. What has happened – has happened. We can’t change it even though at times we may desperately want to. The only reality is now! Our past has brought us here – to our “now”. “Now” is the only time we can do stuff – not yesterday, not tomorrow –only now.
You might think about using some of your “now” to put the past to rest. Look for the lessons those uncomfortable events might hold for you. What can you learn from those situations that will help make your life easier on down the road? Turning “bad” events into lessons will help move them further back in the mental file cabinet. Apologies where appropriate and forgiveness of both yourself and others as necessary can be a couple of other useful tools to diminish the impact and the nagging of the memories of the past. Handing the negative memories over to your personal spiritual “leader” is often useful. (You’ll probably still need to do something in addition though.) Also, focusing on the positives of the past will help to lessen the impact of the negatives.
If your “now” is pretty sucky, all you can do is deal with it the best way you know how. If you can find an immediate lesson in the situation – great! If you don’t see one, you may have to wait for a later “now” when you can see a bit more clearly. Life’s like that. Just remember that it won’t be long until this “now” is gone. I think that’s one of those “This too shall pass” things.
The past? Remember the cool stuff and as for the rest of the garbage – LET IT GO!!!
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